Friday, March 29, 2013

Telling Stories to Wrap Your Brain Around

Last night, my husband and I had an interesting conversation with our oldest son at the dinner table. The conversation centered around my youngest son and all of the challenges that he faces. This conversation was prompted by all of the electrodes on my youngest son's head as he was in the midst of his 24 hour ambulatory EEG.

My oldest son could not understand why his 10yo brother is in the 5th grade and is still learning numbers. And the alphabet. And why isn't he doing 5th grade work? We tried explaining that although he is in "5th" grade, he is actually in a special day class; it's not really 5th grade, at least not as he knows it. We tried explaining that some kids learn at much slower rates, and some kids don't learn things like algebra. This was too much for my oldest son to digest. "But he's got to learn those things!"

We then related the story of how when his brother was born, the doctors told us that he was going to die because of his severe brain hemorrhage. We were told to take him home and enjoy what time he had left. My oldest son got quiet. I don't think he ever realized just how close to death his brother was. His little brother, who can irritate the crap out of him; his little brother, who can play his music way too loud; his little brother, who has alot more challenges than his older brother. "We're just glad he's here, buddy. It doesn't matter to us if he learns algebra. Everyone is different. Everyone has been given different gifts and is blessed differently. You, on the other hand, have been given different gifts than your brother. You have to learn algebra and don't waste your gifts."

That seemed to satisfy him somewhat. I think his little brother still annoys him, but I'm seeing a subtle shift in attitude toward his little brother. I'd like to think it's a positive change.

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." ~ 1 Peter 4:10

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